The Triune

Page 1

July 2011



Culture Community Crossfit

Carey Kepler Lindsey Smith Lisa Bender Thiel


Bound Community

a look at Centrals ROOTS and commitment to excellence



Workout you can take on at home!

“Recovery is one of the very important aspects of CrossFit. Arctic Ease helps me ease the pain! And the pain is inevitable.” - Joe Petrusky, Crossfit Love Fishtown, PA


from the editor If you’ve been in the CrossFit Central, CrossFit Central ATX (RunTex), RedBlack Gym, or Relentless Boot Camp community for awhile, you’ve probably realized that this is more than just a gym, more than just a workout program and more than just a boot camp. This is a movement to empower, inspire and transform people’s lives. We set out nearly 6 years ago with a goal to impact Austin and the broader fitness community. Today we are just as committed to that goal. Carey, myself and the CrossFit Central coaches and staff are committed to excellence and committed to serving you. Below is my personal cell phone number and email address, please feel free to contact me directly – we are here for you.

Jeremy Thiel & Carey Kepler 512.791.7215 A little over four years ago Jeremy and Carey hired me to take on their marketing, branding and community outreach for their start up company – CrossFit Central. At the time they had five burgeoning boot camps and had also opened their first gym with a couple of coaches, three classes and a handful of clients. Since our first meeting Jeremy, Carey and I have talked about creating an innovative magazine to further connect with Central’s community. As we send this first issue to the printer I am humbled and excited that we have taken the steps to make this goal a reality, truly the CrossFit Central way. We kick off the inaugural issue by taking a look into CrossFit Central’s unassuming beginnings when Carey and Jeremy started this company with a vision and $500 bucks in the bank. Over the course of five years this brother-sister team and the exceptional coaching staff at Central have touched countless lives and transformed generations of families, motivating them to do more than they think they can. It is fitting that The TRIUNE begins as a modest 16 page publication, but don’t let the size fool you. We have packed this first edition with compelling information, stunning photos, and powerful videos. This quarterly magazine is for you and there is so much more to come. Meaning behind the name: The TRIUNE (pronounced try-yoon): means one in three, triad or trinity. The TRIUNE will set out to chronicle the trifecta that is Culture, Community and CrossFit.

Nicole Hughes

Cover Concept

The concept for the cover shot came to me as I was browsing through some of CrossFit Central’s “OG blog posts” back when Central’s website could be found on I found this ordinary post with a very iconic image of Central’s founders, Jeremy and Carey. The photo was taken at the first Fight Gone Bad event in 2006. This was before there was a Gym, before the community grew to nearly 1,000 people and before the CrossFit Games even existed. We decided to photograph Carey and Jeremy in a similar setting at the current gym, nearly 5 years after that original photo was taken. We teamed up with the talented photographer and RedBlack athlete, Tim Bougie, for the photoshoot and captured Carey and Jeremy at each of their gyms.

Contents the team

Games Bound 5

Founders: Carey Kepler Jeremy Thiel

Community: 11

Editor in Chief: Nicole Hughes

Upcoming Events 16 Be Relentless: 17

Art Director: Zac Hughes Contributors: Susan Bender Nicole Hughes Megan Parsons

A look into CrossFit Central’s Roots & Commitment to Excellence

5 Tips to Stay Motivated Through the Summer PLUS A Relentless Workout!

CoFounders Carey Kepler & Jeremy Thiel at the TRIUNE photoshoot, pictured at each of CrossFit Central’s locations:

Photography: Tim Bougie Jared Tennant Advertising Sales: Diego Centeno

CrossFit Central

RedBlack Gym

CrossFit Central ATX @ Runtex

CrossFit Central Endurance @ Jack & Adams

Contact us @ 512.507.6450 For more informaiton on CrossFit Central go to


by: Nicole Hughes I’m a self-proclaimed sports fan. Every Fall I get misty eyed as the chords of the Monday night football theme song triumphantly resound through our living room. Last September, while riding The ‘L’ headed to Wrigley on a Sunday morning I felt that same emotion. As I held on to the rail the early morning sun rapidly flickered through the plexiglass windows reflecting images of an iconic red ‘C’, seasoned pennants and a swarm of royal blue. A lump rose in my throat. Not because I’m from Texas and can’t bare the sight of any emblem other than a steer’s horns or an emblazoned ‘R’, and not because I’m a baseball lover – because I’m not. But because as a sports fan, I understand the journey of a team and of an athlete. All competitors have chosen a path, or blazed a trail, that lead them to the meridian of their athletic career. Aside every competitor is a fan, a community or an entire region that supported them every step of the way. From the steely grandstands, computer screens and mobile apps the fans have empathized and experienced every challenge and celebration the competitor has faced. From the clock running out 2 inches from the chalky goal line, to crossing the finish line 4 minutes and 40 seconds ahead of the competition to secure the 7th yellow jersey, to the endless fight to reach full extension on a muscle up - the fans walk the journey with the athlete. At this year’s CrossFit Regional competition roughly twenty-five fans from CrossFit Central traveled to Houston Texas to cheer on and support the community’s competitors. Hundreds more supported the athletes through their countless messages, posts, comments and text messages, avidly checking their twitter feed, Facebook page and the CrossFit Games website for updates. After battling through three days of CrossFit events in temperatures that swelled well above 105 degrees three CrossFit Central women swept the podium, taking home 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. This July Carey Kepler, Lindsey Smith and Lisa Bender Thiel will represent our Region (encompassing Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi) at the 2011 CrossFit Games. However, their journey has not been without challenges, questioning their ability to perform and attempting to figure out how to fit it all in, balance and juggle the various aspects of their lives.

photos by: Tim Bougie


Post 2010 CrossFit Games Carey Kepler was unsure whether or not she had the desire to compete in the 2011 Games. “At that point I actually pinned myself as older and thought, I’m not going to do hardcore CrossFit anymore. I thought I might run, work on my flexibility and core strength maybe do some yoga.” Carey says of that time, “It’s funny, I coach people on how to do whatever they want with their lives but I wasn’t listening to my own advice.” Carey is an ambitious entrepreneur Co-Founding a company that physically serves nearly 1,000 people and virtually empowers thousands more on a daily basis. She created and leads CrossFit Women, Signature Series, Form3 and has pioneered a coach education and development program for a garage gym. It’s no wonder that the thought of ‘doing it all’ while maintaining balance as a full time wife, mother of two, entrepreneur, mentor and athlete seemed a bit daunting. “I started to think CrossFit will have to be put to the side in order for me to achieve all of the other results I want. I started to wonder what a CrossFit athlete’s career and longevity looks like compared to the longevity of my personal career. I tried to separate them all, but none of these pieces of my life are separate.” Carey sought out Coach John Del Peral for advice. She had two questions that required objective answers in order for her to make a decision. One, did she still have what it takes? And two, could she fit it in her life with all of her other commitments? Merely weeks before the CrossFit Open John’s response had the potential to seal her fate for the 2011 Games Season. “Absolutely” he confidently answered. At that point Carey made the mental switch, “ever since that conversation with John, it was go.”

the actor’s method of training for the movie, Spartan 300. At first Lindsey didn’t fully commit to Crossfit. “I actually told my husband that if neither one of us made it to the 2009 Games I didn’t think I wanted to go on with CrossFit training. He thought I was crazy.” *As this issue went to print Lindsey has also become a sponsored ReebokCrossFit athlete.

Though Lindsey ranks amongst the fittest women in the world she too found herself questioning her ability in the days leading up to the 2011 Regional competition. “I hadn’t yet accepted the fact that I was a good CrossFit athlete. If you asked me if I was athletic, I would say yes to that. But as far as a good CrossFit athlete, even up until a few weeks ago, I honestly don’t know how I would have answered that. But just seeing my facebook page and getting text messages from all of the people who believed in me, gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself.” Lisa Bender Thiel, who has an extensive background in the endurance community, like Lindsey didn’t exactly drink the Kool-Aid when she first heard about CrossFit. “I thought it was fun but I didn’t really believe you could get in a workout in 15-20 minutes. It took a long time to understand intensity. I was certain that if I just did a ten minute workout I would gain weight or I wouldn’t get that calorie burn that you’re used to in the endurance world.” After the 2008 Games Lisa turned her focus to the Boston Marathon and cut back her CrossFit training. “I started a ton of Endurance training and kind of did CrossFit on the side. My body fat increased and I didn’t feel as good as when I was CrossFitting.” After the marathon she immediately got back into CrossFit. By summertime she was traveling to the ’10 Games as a member of the CrossFit Central team, who took 6th place overall that year.

Lindsey Smith, a Rogue sponsored athlete who is currently the 12th Fittest Woman in the World, experienced her first CrossFit To better understand what it takes to rank amidst the fittest in the competition at the 2009 Regionals. Prior to that day she had never world and get some insider information (like any hidden even stepped foot in a CrossFit gym. Her husband Web Smith, C.O.O. and president of SICFIT, discovered CrossFit after researching advantages) I sat down with these three ladies to get their take on a few topics. 7

Motivation: Do you have a mantra you live by or an inner motivation that drives you? Carey: I believe that what I do is a vessel for God to work through. It’s not about me. It’s about what others will see in me. I know that I can be a light for others, and given an opportunity to be in the public eye is a gift that has been given to me. However I can express this gift - that is what I am here to do. Lindsey: During Sectionals I was having a really hard time confidence wise. I kept wondering if I really wanted it and if I still had it in me. Then I watched this video of Ingrid Kantola on the Games site. At that point I decided I’m gonna do this, if for no other reason because I am able. I took a sharpie and wrote ABLE on my forearm. When all else fails, just keep moving. God has blessed me, I’m healthy and I am able. Lisa: My mantra is yes, I can. Yes, you can. Yes, I can be an athlete, I can overcome bulimia, I can do anything I set my mind to. My desire is to help others find his or her “yes, I can” and help them set goals and change their life, particularly in the area of eating disorders. The exposure at competitions has opened up several avenues to share my experience and help women that I would never have otherwise come in contact with! Really, competing at this level has allowed me to live my mantra to a greater extent. Women & CrossFit: We are seeing the image of women and the notion of what it means to be fit transform in recent years. Has CrossFit changed your perception or given you a newfound confidence? Lisa: Some of the things that women do to look and feel better aren’t looked down upon here, but they’re not even brought up in a group of strong CrossFit women because you have a confidence and a strength that comes from somewhere else. I’m 33 and I finally have the body and the mindset that I’ve always wanted.

Nutrition: The question we all want to know - do you have cheat meals? Are you 100% paleo and clean eating or do you live by a 80/20 or 90/10 rule? Carey: I had a piece of raisin cinnamon toast with butter on it this morning and it was SO good!!! I typically don’t do a cheat day and I don’t plan a cheat meal. Ninety percent of the time what goes in my mouth is clean, the other 10% might be a small piece of toast or a drink of my daughter’s chocolate milk. The truth is, I feel great when I eat clean so I want to eat clean all the time. Lisa: I’ve been really open about coming from an eating disorder background. For me, the CrossFit lifestyle has taken the focus and societal pressures off of eating. Now, it’s all about how I’m going to feel the next day and my performance. Secret Weapon & Lucky Apparel: Lindsey, I read a few tweets during the Regional competition revealing your secret weapon is a bowl of Lucky Charms before a competition. True? Lindsey: Yes, I eat lucky charms! I don’t eat them regularly, but on day two at Regionals I had made this great breakfast - squash, eggs, bacon all kinds of good stuff! I was halfway through eating and kept gagging with every bite I took. At that point the only thing that sounded good was Lucky Charms. I carried the box around with me the rest of the competition and ate them between workouts. I will definitely be taking a box of lucky charms to Cali! Carey: I don’t think “lucky” means anything. However, I wore this pink headband all through Sectionals and didn’t wash it. Everyone made fun of me, but I didn’t care. Then I wore it at Regionals and ended up taking 1st place. It’s almost a joke to me at this point because of what everyone else thinks about it and all of the comments.

Carey: Absolutely. It’s about being strong and truly believing that we can do whatever we want to do with our lives. CrossFit in itself delivers that message and gives women an inner confidence.


These three women have put in the hard work, they have properly fueled their bodies and trained their weaknesses. Beginning July 29th these three CrossFit Central women will compete amidst 47 other highly skilled female athletes on this worldwide platform, taking all of us fans along for the journey. Over the course of three days, under the California sky, preparation will meet opportunity and who knows, perhaps a little bit of luck as well. When I asked Carey if her “lucky headband” will be traveling with her to the games, her eyes lit up. With a brilliantly wide grin she quickly responded, “Psssh....well, hell yeah!”

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by: Susan Bender In October of 2008, Jeremy Thiel visited my family’s home in the mountains of North Carolina. I really knew nothing about him, but understood something serious was happening if my sister was allowing him to meet the family. Like any good sister would do, I went straight to Google. I intended to know everything the internet could offer about Mr. Thiel. One YouTube video at a time, I learned the story of Jeremy, his sister Carey Kepler, and CrossFit Central. I could feel their passion and sincerity through the computer screen. It was obvious they loved CrossFit and wanted the world to know about it. 11

Luckily for the world, Jeremy and Carey were not shy about their passion for CrossFit. They instantly saw the power held within CrossFit and knew this was going to change the face of the planet. In 2004, while studying at Texas State, Jeremy was more interested in alternative books, yoga and healing groups than his classroom studies. He was searching for something meaningful, something that would light a fire in him. One day, Jeremy’s childhood friend & Marine, Lance Cantu, emailed him a link that forever changed his path - The method of training he found on that website, ignited a fire Thiel desperately needed. Ninety short days later, Jeremy was completing his Level 1 certification and undoubtedly knew he was designed for CrossFit. Jeremy hit the streets of Austin, determined to share his love of CrossFit with the world. First, Jeremy recruited his sister Carey to start a business. Carey, a personal trainer and 6 years Jeremy’s senior, doubted her baby brother had truly found a workout that was as radical as he proclaimed. Again, all it took was one WOD and Carey was hooked. The duo decided to start a boot camp, spreading their love for CrossFit and empowering others to live a healthy lifestyle. It was October of 2005 and CrossFit Central had found it’s beginning. With $500 in start up cash and no physical location, the duo had to hustle. Jeremy quickly recruited their brother, Zachary Thiel and childhood best friend, Michael Gregory, to help. The foursome spread the word of CrossFit around the city. They lived and breathed everything CrossFit. 12

On Saturday mornings, you could find the group leading workouts under the MoPac Bridge on Town Lake, today affectionately known as the “UTB” or Under The Bridge workout. Jeremy says of that time, “Big Mike slept on my coach for months, while we were starting out. We would run around the apartment blasting music and pumping ourselves up. It was important that everyone we met feel our enthusiasm for CrossFit. We knew we were onto something amazing and had to move forward with blind faith.” In 2009, membership was growing so rapidly, Thiel and Kepler knew their current location would not hold the incoming members. They had a commitment to each member and every class. In order to maintain the integrity of the CrossFit experience for each member, they needed more space. Thiel searched Austin for the right way to expand a fitness venture. Inevitably, the answer was found through partnering with Austin’s fitness mecca, RunTex and owner, Paul Corrozza. “Paul Corrozza laid the tracks for exactly what a successful fitness community should look like. I have a lot of respect and gratitude for the foundation RunTex has laid within this city. The fact is, nobody would have success in Austin’s fitness community if not for Paul.”

Our gym isn’t just a place to workout, it’s a family.” -Jeremy Thiel


The partnership birthed 1600 square feet of gym space inside the RunTex store on Lake Austin Boulevard. A knocked down wall and few black mats quickly led to a full schedule of nine classes per day. The location did more than create extra workout space. It brought CrossFit downtown. The Austinites who love hitting the newest hot spots of the city and seeing late night shows, now had easy access to the latest revolution in fitness. The CrossFit Central ATX location at RunTex is now best known for its accessibility and the ability to get in a workout on the way to or from downtown Austin. As the community continued to grow, a new need surfaced. CrossFit had fed the competitive athlete but many more were wondering how to get to the next level. They needed a gym which pushed them beyond their regular workouts and fed their athletic drive to compete. RedBlack Gym was created in 2010 to answer this need. This box is the premier, elite CrossFit training facility in Austin, Texas. The 2800 square feet of underground, invitation only space, trains the best of the best. RedBlack Gym’s GarageGymRx programming requires athletes be able to complete majority of CrossFit workouts as prescribed. These athletes receive personal attention and workouts tailored to their needs. In a very short time, this facility has become the breeding ground for elite athletes, including the University of Texas at Austin Rugby Team and Matt Lowe, USA National Swim Team member and Olympic hopeful. Today, six short years since inception, Thiel and Kepler lead one of the largest CrossFit affiliate communities in the world. Despite their successes their original intention remains. The founding group believed in maintaining a strong commitment to integrity and character. It is this commitment that has built the extended family which is now CrossFit Central. Thiel and Kepler expect each coach and staff member to uphold these core values.

Each coach has an obligation to maintaining the integrity of the workouts, to the experience of each athlete in class and to the well being of each person on and off of the gym floor. CrossFit Central was never meant to be just a gym. The founders set out to truly build a fit community and remain dedicated to that mission today. It is this investment into others which once experienced is contagious and will in fact, change the face of the planet. Two years after my Google investigation of Jeremy Thiel began, he finally had my approval. After a few visits with the talented group of people he and Carey have gathered, I decide to move to Ausin. The energy and focus of people within the CrossFit Central community is unmatched. I tried to find something as inspiring in my native town of North Carolina, but it just did not happen. Before 2008 I was determined never to live in this hot, dry land called Texas. Somehow Jeremy, Carey and this incredible community, made it impossible to stay away. “As we grow, we are committed to the integrity of our community. We are pulling in top caliber coaches from across the country, who are talented in building micro-communities in each class. We are committed to maintaining the same, tight-knit community, which supports and encourages each and every member. This is what attracted clients from the very beginning and creates lifelong relationships.� Jeremy Thiel

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CrossFit Central: More Than a Gym


EVENTS Challenges, Races & Events August 8.20 - CrossFit HQ SUP Series 8.27 - CrossFit Women Challenge September 9.2 - CrossFit Central Endurance @ the Zilker Relays 9.17 - Fight Gone Bad VI

Community wide workout and fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Foundation

October 10.6 - Lean Turkey Challenge Begins

6 Week Challenge designed to get you results! Open to current clients only

10.8 - Relentless Adventure Race

2nd annual adventure race - open to the public

FREE Community Workouts Open to Everyone! CrossFit Central, CrossFit Central ATX, Kettlebell & Relentless Boot Camp Free Workouts September 24 - Community WODs October 22 - Community WODs Social Scene July 7.29 - 7.30 CrossFit Games Weekend

Watch the CrossFit Games live @ Cuatros!

August 8.18 - Relentless Boot Camp Happy Hour @ 5pm 8.23 - CrossFit Women Happy Hour @ 5pm September 9.15 - Relentless Boot Camp Happy Hour @ 5pm October 10.14 - Relentless Boot Camp Happy Hour @ 5pm 10.18 - CrossFit Women Happy Hour @ 5pm


For details, registration, location, times and more information on upcoming events Go to:

Prior to joining CrossFit Central Debbie (pictured with her Coach Michael Gregory) was unhappy with the way she looked, constantly tired and making poor food choices. Within weeks Debbie was seeing results and “never looked back”. “I’ve always said that life just keeps getting better and better, and I’m in a really great place right now. I owe a lot of that to Crossfit Central. The thing I value most, though, is that my girls are growing up exposed to exercise, not afraid to sweat, and able to push themselves athletically. I’m thrilled that I can model that for them, especially after having lived the first 37 years of my life without really exercising at all. Check out all of the 2011 Empowerment Stories -->

Be Relentless by: Megan Parsons

5 Tips to Stay Motivated Over the Summer: 1. Schedule a workout time in your planner just like you would a meeting. 2. Move your workout from indoor to outdoor. Appreciate the fresh air and sunlight! 3. Pick a local race and compete in the event before the end of summer. 4. Use the summer to jump start to your goals. Where do you want to be in December? 5. Take on the 100 Day burpee challenge. 1 burpee on Day 1, 2 burpees on Day 2‌100 burpees on Day 100.

Relentless Workout: The best way to stay motivated during a workout is to take it on with a partner. Grab a friend and head to your local track, park or favorite outdoor workout location! 20 Push ups 50 Russian swings 50 KB Sumo deadlift highpull 50 Front squat 50 2-handed KB press 20 Push ups

*Visit to watch a video of this workout! For More Articles, Videos & Pictures: Get Plugged In!


Pictured: Relentless Boot Campers: Mike O’Malley, Michelle Sandquist & Tim Berry Relentless Coaches: Megan Parsons & Heather Reed | |

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